The Mission

Your team has been called upon to complete a waypoint and payload delivery mission. You will use a quadcopter drone and ground control station which together form a small uncrewed aircraft system (sUAS). In addition to building the sUAS, teams will also be tasked with the design and build of a delivery mechanism that can support the designated payload.


Your sUAS must comply with Special Instructions (SPINS) for departure and arrival procedures, and then remain within the assigned airspace. It will be tasked to search an area for items of interest and to conduct point reconnaissance.

A system (and the technical skills needed to operate it) that can accurately deliver supplies and information where directed will be in high demand. Students also develop professional skills such as teamwork, communication, public speaking, time management and troubleshooting.

Teams are require to create and present a video about UAS4STEM to the judges. Below are some examples of these videos from the 2024 Preliminary Competition.

2024 UAS4STEM Promo Video | 55 Knights
2024 UAS4STEM Promo Video | Some Assembly Required
2024 UAS4STEM Promo Video | Bumblebees
2024 UAS4STEM Promo Video | Redstone Beginner
2024 UAS4STEM Promo Video | Corntographers
2024 UAS4STEM Promo Video | McIntosh Advanced

Teams must also present their Flight Readiness Reviews (FRR) in front of judges. FRRs serve to demonstrate that teams are ready to compete the flight mission phase of the competition safely. Teams share their procedures and steps in planning for the competition and their plans to achieve mission tasks during flight. Below are some examples of exemplary FRRs from the 2023 competition.

Beginner Team FRRs
2023 UAS4STEM FRR | AeroHawks
2023 UAS4STEM FRR | The Corntographers

Advanced Team FRRs

2023 UAS$STEM FRR | Midtown Mavericks
2023 UAS4STEM FRR | Redstone Composite Squadron

Winning teams at the national level are presented with scholarship money, directly creating a pathway from this competition to education and a career in a STEM field. Student national competitors who responded to our most recent survey indicated that due to participating in UAS4STEM, they feel more prepared to succeed in science, technology, engineering and math. They also feel improved confidence along with a better capacity for teamwork, communication and leadership.